By PETER ESILA
THE impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on businesses in Papua New Guinea is unavoidable, with the third wave likely to have a greater financial impact, says Steamships managing director Rupert Bray.
“As with all businesses in PNG, the Covid-19 is impacting Steamships on two fronts,” he said.
“Firstly, there is an impact on our team and on our ability to continue operating with the various restrictions being imposed around the country.
“Secondly, the third wave is likely to have a greater financial impact than the first two waves.
“While it is too early to tell, inevitably the lockdowns and the restrictions on free movement will impact all business in Papua New Guinea.”
Bray said Steamships was already seeing a rapid drop in hotel occupancy and a softening in cargo volumes.
The company is a diversified leader in shipping, transport, property and commercial operation in PNG since 1918.
“Steamships has been investing in PNG’s growth, development and progress ever since, steadily evolving its business to meet current needs and anticipate the future,” he said.
The company owns East West Transport.
“Because a high proportion of the East West Transport staff
are vaccinated, we are being asked to support businesses by operating services on their behalf,” Bray
“We will certainly do all we can to help alleviate the suffering and to keep business flowing up the Highlands Highway.
“Steamships requires all contractors, suppliers and visitors to be vaccinated, or to provide proof of negative tests.
“We are unapologetically favouring suppliers who can demonstrate high levels of vaccination.”
Bray plans to encourage all staff members to be fully vaccinated by year-end.
“Acknowledging that vaccination is voluntary in PNG, we offer a testing regime as an alternative,
however, there is a cost involved for unvaccinated staff and visitors,” he said.
By PETER ESILA